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blue grass is the fifth book of poetry by award winning poet, Peter Minter.
Fierce in its attitude to life, visionary in its philosophical curiosity and fluent in its study of traditional and contemporary poetics from around the world, blue grass heralds the renewal of an engaged lyrical voice in Australian and international poetry.
Opening with a Homeric challenge to the contemporary imagination (to go ‘eastward into another land/the bluegrass plain’ and ‘find/what there is to say/of transformation, the sparkle, junk/& greenest hearts’) blue grass embarks on an epic journey through extraordinarily everyday personal, natural and cultural landscapes.
The book is arranged across four parts, History of the Present, Auto Heaven, Australiana and Fresh Kills, and is interwoven by the Yonder Sonnets, an innovative series of meditations on journey and habitation. Minter draws on a range of modern European and American explorations in thought and form and remixes them with invigorating studies of traditions in voice and image.
The poems are readable and alert. They offer intimate and careful observations of places and people that are disarmingly precise in their detail. They reflect on politics, war and environmental devastation alongside avowals of being and relating. They sample images and riffs from popular culture, literature, music, news, art and film, throwing daily life into relief against a resilient, organically shared history.
Above all, the poems are affirmations of existence. They know that a deep appreciation of life’s fragility must be founded in positive acknowledgements of worldly things and relations, or more simply, in acts of love.
blue grass is the work of a mature and daring imagination. Few poets accomplish such a deft and original balance between street-smart enquiry, closely felt meditation, technical virtuosity and poetic experimentation. Peter Minter’s achievement is the invention of a radically contemporary lyricism – confirming his reputation as one of the most relevant and groundbreaking poets writing in Australia today.
‘What is remarkable is the economy of means through which Minter manages conclusive, unillusioned, poetic and visionary possibility.’ —Times Literary Supplement
‘Genuinely exhilarating, assured and truly seductive, with a control of mood and precision of vocabulary and lineation that are truly winning. Peter Minter's poems unlock the fission of language.’ —Australian Book Review
‘A virtuoso.’ —The Age